Information architecture in modern SharePoint

Having a solid information architecture is an important prerequisite for realizing a well-maintained and well-performing portal. Designing the optimal structure requires good planning. Even with a good plan, information architecture is a continuous process. Over time, organizations change, people change, and projects change. Plus, the more you learn about your users, the more discoverable you can make your content. The modern experience in SharePoint makes it easier and faster to evolve your structure and navigation because it is more flexible with the new, flat structure of Hub sites.

HR hub

Hub sites

Classic SharePoint architecture is typically built using a hierarchical system of site collections and sub-sites, with inherited navigation, permissions, and site designs. Once built, this structure can be inflexible and difficult to maintain. In the modern SharePoint experience, every site is a site collection, and all can be associated to a hub site which is a flat structure of sites that share navigation, branding, and other elements. This type of structure is far more flexible and adaptive to the changing needs of your organization. Learn about how to plan for Hub sites.

The most effective SharePoint sites (and web sites in general) help visitors find what they need quickly so that they can use the information they find to make decisions, learn about what is going on, access the tools they need, or engage with colleagues to help solve a problem. The fundamental principles and good practices for site and page navigation are equally applicable to both classic and modern SharePoint architectures. However, your options for implementing navigation differs based on the framework for your sites and intranet. For example, the “inherited” navigation experiences available in classic SharePoint site hierarchies (sites with subsites) are not available in the modern experience, but hub sites provide a great way to achieve the cross-site navigation features previously available in managed navigation and site hierarchies in classic SharePoint.  

No matter which framework you are using, you can use the guidance in Plan navigation in the modern experience to help make good decisions for navigation.